TURNER — Selectmen voted to recommend Article 2 on the warrant for the special town meeting being held Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Leavitt Area High School cafeteria.
Article 2 will ask to increase the 2015 Rescue Department budget by the sum of $161,588 and to appropriate $61,588 from undesignated surplus, $60,000 from overlay and transfer $40,000 from the paving and construction account to fund the increase.
They did not recommend funding a contracted rescue service, which is Article 3.
The Monday night meeting was opened by Boy Scout troop 187 leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Fifteen scouts were present along with leader Justin Castagna and assistant leader Jeremy Bussiere.
Castagna asked the board’s permission to allow the scouts to ask questions and several questions were asked of the board.
Ben Stone asked how the selectmen qualified to be on the board. Chairman Kurt Youland said, they were elected by the town people, and they had to take out papers is they wanted to be on the ballot.
Nathan Pack wanted to know how someone under the age of 18 could voice their opinion. Selectman Angelo Terreri told Pack they could come to the meetings any time and ask questions.
Dan Ledbetter wanted to know what the most difficult discussion the board had. Selectman Ralph Caldwell said that, most recently, discussing the Rescue Department was the most difficult. “Ninety percent of the time we agree, but if not, we go home friends. If you hold grudges, it won’t work.” Caldwell said.
Matthew Castagna asked what the board thought was the most important part of the Constitution. Town Manager Kurt Schaub answered that what they were doing right now, freedom of speech, was the most important. Caldwell said in order for our nation to survive, the Constitution must be followed.
Joseph Bussiere started a major discussion when he asked about the bear bait law. Caldwell said, “There are lots of bears in Maine, and if we stop hunting, the population will grow. Right now, the bears live on berries, small game and such, which is natural, but if there isn’t enough food for them, then they will start eating pets and small livestock. If a bear is at bait, the hunter has a clear shot for a kill versus a running bear in the woods, which would likely be injured and would die a long, painful death.”
Caldwell continued by saying special interest groups from out of state were funding the fight against baiting in answer to another question on why out of state people were involved. Caldwell assured the scouts that only Maine citizens could vote on the issue.
Afterward, members of American Legion Post 111 presented the town with framed maps showing all streets in town. They presented one to Schaub, one to the fire chief and one to Youland.
Schaub reported that the Fish Street project was finished as the plantings took place today, he said. The total cost was $122,464, the town’s expense is $30,616.24, and he is working on grants to cover those costs.
Schaub also said single-sort recycling was likely to start in late spring, not this fall.